Clarets star Arfield hopes for first Canada start

Having had his first taste of international football on Saturday with Canada, Scott Arfield is looking for a first start tomorrow.

Monday, 28th March 2016, 11:32 am
Updated Friday, 1st April 2016, 10:57 pm
Scott Arfield
Scott Arfield

Arfield came on at half-time in Canada’s 3-0 defeat to Mexico in front of 55,000 at BC Place, Vancouver on Friday.

And he is in line to start the return in the famous Estadio Azteca – venue for the 1970 and 1986 World Cup Finals.

Arfield said: “If the manager sees me fit to start I’m absolutely delighted to do so.

“It was an absolute pleasure for me to play in front of so many fans. It’s something that will live long in my memory.

“I really enjoyed it.

“In footballing terms, it was an absolute eye-opener.

“How they play, their movement. When you give them one yard it seems like it’s five or six.

“You take so much pleasure and so much experience from 45 minutes like that.

“They were a fantastic counter-attacking team, a lot of power and pace up front, and the movement from Chicharito at times is incredible.”

Mexico are on the verge of qualifying to the next stage of 2018 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, and Arfield added: “With their own fans behind them, I think they’re going to play a certain level, a certain tempo, so it’s up to us to go there and maybe sit back and hit them on the counter.”

The Scot recently committed to Canada, qualifying through his father, who was born in Toronto, and he takes the number of full internationals at the club to 10, joining Sam Vokes (Wales), Danny Lafferty and Michael Duff (Northern Ireland), George Boyd and Matt Gilks (Scotland), Joey Barton and Paul Robinson (England), Fredrik Ulvestad (Norway) and Stephen Ward (Republic of Ireland).

Vokes started Thursday night’s 1-1 draw with Northern Ireland in Cardiff, coming off just after Lafferty had replaced Jonny Evans.

Tom Heaton will hope to make it 11 this evening for England against Holland at Wembley Stadium, with Jack Butland having suffered a fractured ankle on Saturday.